An upper school enrichment activity during last year’s Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month sparked a campus conversation and inspired Jeffrey Wang ’21 to research, write and share his thoughts with the Bishop’s community and beyond. In September, Adroit Journal published his critical essay
, “Colliding Worlds: DACA Recipients and Higher Education.”
Why you were moved to write "Colliding Worlds: DACA Recipients and Higher Education"?
We watched The Unafraid in a school-wide assembly last year, a documentary about state-level battles for DACA recipients to gain access to higher education. It shone light on the myriad of policies—from higher education to legal rights—that are an ongoing fight for “Dreamers,” an issue I had never really considered beyond the federal level.
After the documentary ran, a member of the Class of 2020 published an article in The Daily Urinal, our student publication, that was critical of the movie’s messaging. I responded with a follow-up article defending the students, and the issue blossomed into mainstream discourse from there. Several other students and a teacher wrote follow-ups.
Even after the debate simmered down, the issue still deeply interested me. I tend not to lose sight of things after they first catch my attention, so I did a lot of deep research independently to better educate myself. From reading the corpus of DACA legislation on a state-by-state level to perusing individual accounts of DACA students (scattered in local newspapers across the country), I eventually got a handle on the finer nuances of the issue. When the opportunity opened up at Adroit, I jumped at the chance. Now, after writing the piece, submitting it, and going through revisions, it’s published!
When did you first know that you loved writing and were good at it?
To be honest, I never considered writing as a central tenet of my identity until coming to Bishop’s. While I’ve always been a voracious reader and have certainly never been a poor writer, Bishop’s supercharged my interests. After covering broad swathes of literature in class, I often felt inspired to try my hand at new forms—poetry, essays, and the like—during my free time. In my sophomore and junior years, this work wound up receiving national honors; my essays and poetry were awarded national medals from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
How is writing incorporated into your life at Bishop's?
Whether I am crafting my latest poem, writing an article in the DU (as a co-editor this year), or drafting a lab report, writing is absolutely integral to my life at Bishop’s.
Who has helped guide you in your writing?
First and foremost, I have to thank all of my teachers at Bishop’s: Mr. Fayne, Mr. Davis, H (Mr. Hendrickson), and Mrs. Kelly. I’ve had Mr. Davis, in particular, for two years; as a published poet, he has been a huge influence in drawing me to the realm of poetry and has helped mesh my analytical and creative sides. Mr. Hendrickson, too, exposed me to entirely new facets of literature. Even though I was only in his class for a brief semester, I grew tremendously under his tutelage.
Are there specific topics, themes or ideas you return to in your writing? How do you envision writing remaining a significant part of your life?
I always try to write about themes that are bigger than myself. Despite living in an era of social media, writing, in my assessment, remains the most robust medium to express one’s thoughts—there’s something compelling in the twists and turns of language that more powerfully move ideas forward.